MEDITATION TIP #2
Privilege frequency and consistency over duration. People are called to meditation because of suffering. Perhaps they are ready to liberate themselves from the grip of anger or fear. Perhaps they are listening to an ache deep within to come fully and authentically alive. Freeing ourselves from suffering and truly living our lives as they unfold are powerful motivators, and people usually begin with the intention to practice regularly. Yet, all too often, despite their best intentions, their practices falter and disappear. This is often the result of rigidly holding an expectation for what meditation must look like: “I’m going to wake up at 5am every morning and meditate for 45 minutes.” Then life intervenes—they become ill or someone they love does, their commitments stack up and interfere, they have an anxious, sleepless night and the snooze button is suddenly too alluring to resist. Ironically at the moments they find themselves suffering the most, they stop practicing all together. The answer here is to bring flexibility to your practice as your create a habit. Find an anchor activity that you do every day (e.g. brush your teeth in the morning, get into bed at night) and set an intention to meditate every day before you do that activity. Here’s where flexibility comes in: when you don’t have time/energy for a 45-minute sit, that’s okay! On those days, let meditation be a conscious pause. Find somewhere to sit for a moment and take seven conscious breaths. As Thich Nhat Hanh has suggested, you might silently say to yourself, “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.” In this way, your practice continues one day to the next, always there for you, responsive to your life as it is.
DO A GUIDED MEDITATION